Guest of Honour, in conversation
The first thing that strikes you about Charlaine Harris is that, like many of the characters she writes, she is larger than life. With a terrific sense of humour and a great dose of common sense, she is a lady worth listening to. It was just a pity that so few turned up to do that.
As she wryly commented, she hadn’t realised she would be ‘competing with a live demonstration of swordplay’ in the adjoining room. I was not the only one struggling to make the choice; what a pity the ‘sword fighting for writers’ workshop and demo over-ran so drastically, but it was never going to fit into a single hour, was it?
Back to our impressive GOH.
Like so many, I’ve only come across Charlaine Harris as a result of watching True Blood, but she has many novels under her belt in the murder/mystery genre (of the ‘cozy’ variety) published long before her entrance into the paranormal world of Bon Temps.
Her first series, ‘Real Murders’, staring a character by the striking name of Aurora Teagarden, is about to be produced as a TV series by Hallmark – a channel that is polar opposite in style to HBO (that produces True Blood) , guaranteeing the ‘cozy’ in the mysteries.
Her departure into the paranormal came about as a deliberate attempt to lift her career from the mid-list, which it has done with a vengeance, although it took her agent 2 years to sell the first Sookie Stackhouse novel, despite Harris’s already extensive published back list.
Here she is, talking about her experience of working with HBO on the adaptation
About her family’s involvement
And a bit about the characters in the show
She related that on a recent visit to Shreveport (yes, it really exists), she was amused to find a new housing development with streets named after the True Blood characters.
Her thoughts on the paranormal outside of fiction?
“I’ve met lots of people who tell me they are vampires, or werewolves and psychics – but they didn’t know what I was thinking!”
The panel finished up with a book signing, and lots of happy readers with stars in their eyes from meeting their favourite author.